The COVID-19 pandemic has given humanity a first-hand experience of what an unhealthy planet has in store for its residents. Increased awareness of the need for nature-based solutions has also increased the appetite for change, including through green and blue recovery strategies. The Ocean, which is suffering from triple planetary crises, namely climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, also offers avenues for a blue post-pandemic recovery.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-level Event on the Ocean took place at UN Headquarters with many participants joining virtually from around the world due to travel constraints caused by the ongoing pandemic. The event aimed to highlight progress made on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on life below water, and address, among others, the impacts of the pandemic on the Ocean economy, and opportunities and challenges to achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
During opening remarks, Volkan Bozkir, UNGA President, said that there is no scenario where humans can prosper without the Ocean. He noted that since SDG 14 targets are among the first to mature, four of which were meant to be achieved by 2020, we must ensure we are prepared to upscale actions at the Second UN Ocean Conference. Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, pointed out how six years after the inauguration of the SDGs, progress on Ocean action has been more tangible compared to the “indifferent waters we sailed before SDG 14.”
The meeting took place through four panel sessions. Read about them in the full article here: https://enb.iisd.org/ocean/UNGA/high-level-event-ocean/highlights-and-im...